What Are Bad Faith Insurance Claims?
As you’ve likely deduced from reading previous blog posts, the insurance companies are not always on your side. One of the most egregious methods used by insurance companies to take advantage of their customers during tough times is to deny an injury claim in bad faith. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be wondering how much your case is worth – and to have your case denied can be devastating. To fight back against greedy insurance providers, it is important to understand exactly what a bad faith claim entails, why insurance companies deny claims and how you can get the money you deserve. Read ahead to find out how you can take the insurance companies to court if your case was denied in bad faith.
What is Bad Faith?
In the simplest of terms, bad faith occurs when an insurance company denies an injury car accident claim without a reasonable explanation or basis for denial. This typically means that the insurance provider did not accurately document or appropriately investigate the claim. This unfortunately occurs quite frequently and can be tricky to prove negligence on the insurance companies.
Proving that an insurance company acted in bad faith can be difficult, but not impossible. If your insurance provider denies a claim due to a simple error or assessment mishap, this is usually not enough to constitute bad faith. For a case to be deemed bad faith, the policy owner must prove that their provider either failed to conduct a thorough investigation or ignored glaring evidence proving your claim. Your bad faith claim also has a good chance at succeeding if you can prove that the insurance company purposely performed an inadequate analysis of your case, in an attempt to stay ignorant of details that would prove your claim true.
Damages Available in Bad Faith Cases
If a case is found to be in bad faith, the policy owner can recover the initial claim amount, and possibly more due to negligence from the insurance provider. Consequential damages, which are rewarded as a result of a claim denial, can include the cost of the injury lawsuit, attorney’s fees and the cost of bringing suit against the insurance company.
You may also be able to receive damages that stem from the emotional agony created by a bad faith injury claim. Additionally, if it can be proven that the insurance provider intentionally tried to injure you, punitive damages can be available. These damages will only be awarded if it can be proven that excessive and atrocious conduct were performed by the insurance company, not just a sloppy investigation.
It may seem like your back is against the wall if your car accident injury claim is denied. But with a trustworthy attorney on your side, you can prove that the insurance companies were acting in bad faith. Remember that it is your word against the insurance company’s, so make sure to take photos of your accident, obtain eyewitness accounts and record police testimonies to further prove your case.
Don’t be afraid of the big bad insurers, get the help you need to win your case today. For a free consultation with an attorney you can trust, call the offices of Robert L. Meissner today at (916) 473-1537 or fill out our online form.